[OPE-L:7866] Re: Query re 'The Complete Book of Cooking'

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Tue Oct 29 2002 - 06:34:35 EST

Re Mike L's [7865]:

Mike, I didn't know you were interested in cooking.

You note:

     >   I think you err in talking below about that chef's last published 
comment on the subject. In fact, in Chapter 20 of Volume I of 
'Cooking in General', he wrote that he could not take up certain 
questions because their exposition belonged to 'the special study of 
meat and, therefore, not to this work'. <

Right, that's in the first paragraph of Ch. 20.  That's an indication 
that at the time he wrote "Cooking in General" he still saw the need
for "the special study of meat".   This does not, however, refute my
assertion that his last published comment on the 6-book-plan on
cooking was in the "Preface" to the "Contribution to a Critique of
Cooking".  Yet -- and I take this to be your point with which I 
agree -- his reference in Ch. 20 could be read as dovetailing
quite well with his prior published comments in that "Preface".

I think that ***if***  one were to answer my query in the negative, 
then it would raise very troubling questions about the chef.  If an
author announces his intention to write a series of books in the
preface to one book but then has given up on that scheme by the
time one publishes one's next book but doesn't mention that change
in plans even in passing then one of the following is likely:

a) the author thought the readers were so stupid that they wouldn't
notice the change in plan;

b) the author did not respect the readers  enough to feel that they
were owed an explanation;

c) the author was forgetful (i.e. he had gotten so absent-minded that
he forgot what he wrote in the "Preface" to a "Contribution ....").

Yet,  any of these possibilities  seem to me -- based on readings of
biographies of the great chef -- to be totally out of character.  Indeed,
there is much anecdotal evidence that he showed great respect for 
his readers and that he was at the very top of his game and far
from being forgetful at the time he wrote "Cooking in General". 

So, this would suggest that the *only* interpretation which gives
the chef credit is the one which says that at the time that he 
published Volume One of "Cooking in General" he still planned
on finishing the remaining volumes of "Cooking in General" and then
writing the following 5 books in the 6-book-plan.   

In solidarity, Jerry

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